The Mayo Clinic announced plans to spend more than $369 million to build proton beam therapy facilities at its locations in Rochester, Minn., and Phoenix. The new facilities are expected to open by late 2014 or early 2015.
Mayo plans proton facilities in Minn., Ariz.
The announcement comes amid growing concern that proton therapy is proliferating even though there may not be enough data to justify the expense. Mayo officials, however, noted that their plans call for “pencil beam scanning,” which calls for a narrower beam that they said allows for more control over radiation doses, shorter treatment times and fewer side effects.
The Rochester facility is expected to cost about $187.5 million while the one in Phoenix will run around $181.6 million. Mayo said about 500 construction jobs will be created building the two facilities, where some 250 new staffers will eventually work when the sites are fully operational—including 19 doctors and 19 physicists.
Mayo also said that patients treated at the facilities will be entered into a registry to track their outcomes and to determine which patients benefit the most from the therapy. Current plans call for using the technology on patients with some head and neck, breast, gastrointestinal, lung, spine and prostate cancers, as well as for tumors in or near the eye.
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